Grounds & Garden Project
Kilnwick Percy Hall is surrounded by almost 50 acres of grounds including parkland, a lake, woodland and a walled garden. As a charity we are able to maintain the historic house and grounds primarily through the volunteer efforts of the residential and local community. Some volunteers give a few hours, others come and offer their help for a day, and some come and stay for a week-long visit. The generosity and dedication of these volunteers enables us to welcome visitors all year round.
If you have been visiting us regularly over the last couple of years you may have noticed occasional gardening working parties, under the guidance of our dear friend and professional craftsman gardener, Ian Clayton as we try to tidy the gardens and ensure they are kept at their beautiful best, with ease of maintenance in mind!
How you can help
All of our work is done by a wonderful team of residents and volunteers and is reliant upon the kindness of everyone who donates whatever they can to the project in terms of time, money and plants. We have garden work parties that run at regular intervals during the year and we are always grateful of extra pairs of hands.
If you would like to come along, whether it be for a few hours or a few days then we’d love to hear from you.
If you would like to get involved with our work, or make a donation of money or plants then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org , make a donation via the donate button to be found on each page of the website (please make a note that your donation is for the garden project in the description), or via our donation box in the Madhyamaka KMC main reception area.
We have been working to improve the areas immediately around the centre with the removal of perennial weeds, the addition of some new plants, fresh compost, some organic feed and a generous layer of wood chip to keep the weeds at bay, and regular grass cutting. Trees, shrubs and hedges have been gathered in and are being managed to enhance their value and beauty.
The man-made six-acre lake is a beautiful feature of the wider parkland surrounding Kilnwick Percy Hall, landscaped in the 18th Century.
Restored in 2011 following a drain collapse which left the lake empty for months, this once again beautiful feature is the perfect addition to the parkland and woodlands of the Hall. Follow the circular walk around the lake and enjoy for yourself the relaxing surroundings this beautiful site has to offer.
We have begun a programme of work around the lake which will dramatically enhance the views across the rest of the estate whilst also improving the value of the habitat for wildlife and people. We have been carefully removing overgrown trees and shrubs, many of which have been coppiced in the traditional way and will recover to form billowing clouds of fresh green growth that will weave their way along the banks. The paths have been resurfaced and we are creating some open areas close to the water’s edge where you can sit quietly and enjoy the space and fresh air. Later in the spring we will introduce more water plants to bring colour and structure to the margins of the water and provide more habitat for the many different species of insects and birds that live in and around the lake. Later on this year we will be adding spring bulbs and more trees and shrubs to further improve and enhance the whole ecosystem.
Pathways meander through the pretty woodland which, in the spring, is carpeted in wild garlic and bluebells, gives some welcome shade in the summer and is simply stunning when the green leaves give way to a collage of auburn, russet, amber, scarlet and gold. We aim to make a beautiful snowdrop walk in the coming years.
No matter what the season, the grounds provide a feast for the senses.
Our biggest challenge of all is to renovate and restore our Walled Garden which has slipped into something of a slumber in recent years and is now looking a little tired and weary.
Work started in March with the removal of some of overgrown shrubs and the first stages of careful management of those that will be incorporated into the new scheme. The first beds have been weeded and dressed with bark chip to buy us some time whilst we decide upon the plants that will be needed to breathe new life into the old walls.
The project is much bigger than just a superficial makeover though. We intend to repair the worn paths, re-invigorate our historic yew hedges with a programme of dramatic pruning work (this has also been started already) that will see them recover with deeper, greener growth and a better shape. The ponds will be re-imagined. The old orchard trees will be recovered where possible or replaced and the rough grass underneath will be carefully converted into species-rich wildflower meadow. The new planting scheme will be simple and low maintenance but will still be beautiful and valuable for wildlife.